Formula Vintage: Ferrari returns to succeed in another tragic struggle between peers


After 7 seasons with the same regulation of motors, in 1961 would come into force on the change postulated at the end of 1958. Under the mistaken belief that the main problem was the speed, the premise was to reduce the increasing rate of mortality. Thus, in addition to a minimum weight of 500 kilos, started the era of the liter and a half by introducing a limit of 1,500 cc, similar to the current one, which reduced the power of the engines between 70 and 100 HP. In essence, it was a regulation very similar to that of the Formula 2, something widely criticized by the English clubs. All adopted the engine in the rear, and the advantage of conceptual Cooper would start to decrease. Much was expected, therefore, Ferrari, and it didn’t disappoint. 156, nicknamed ‘nose ‘ shark’ for its aesthetic front, and with a powerful V6, it was the fruit of a whole year of work. The team reduced definitely its quota to 3 cars: after the departure of Cliff Allison, kept Phil Hill and Wolfgang von Trips, and put Richie Ginther in the third car full-time, devoting Willy Mairesse at the Endurance World. In front, they would have to Porsche, who introduced the order to a factory team. To do this, substantially altered its 718 Formula 2 by adding a characteristic engine F4 (boxer 4-cylinder) and turned the steering wheel to Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier, both from BRM.

regulatory change caught the british team with the foot changed and very little development. In addition, Climax has suffered a great delay in the development of their V8 and had to supply motors L4 derivatives of Formula 2, with four years of seniority. Cooper introduced its new T55, with his duo star of the Antipodes at the wheel: Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren. Lotus opted to reduce its contingent to just 2 cars for Jim Clark and John Surtees, but Innes Ireland refused to terminate his contract in force, by which Surtees, who had retired from motorcycle racing, he left the team. So, Clark and Ireland would be the partner of the Lotus 21, the first car in which the pilots were adopting a driving posture recumbent. BRM also reduced the team to 2 cars. To meet the marches of Gurney and Bonnier, hired Tony Brooks for its second car alongside Graham Hill. His own engine was also delayed, so that also would use units Climax.

The new regulations opened the way to a suite of new private teams, led, of course, by Rob Walker, with Stirling Moss behind the wheel of a Lotus. Yeonam Credit pulled its sponsorship of the team BRP and joined to the new structure of the expiloto Reg Parnell, who was also renowned. Surtees was his signing star, next to Roy Salvadori in chassis Cooper. BRP, for its part, was renamed by another sponsor, UDT Laystall, and continued using chassis Cooper. Without Brooks or Olivier Gendebien, which was not followed by its commitments in resistance with Ferrari, was signed to Cliff Allison to accompany Henry Taylor. Centre-Sud, for his part, only evidently aligns herself a Cooper for the beginner Lorenzo Bandini. The rest of new computers, used Coopers the Italian Serenissima (Maurice Trintignant), and the british H&L (Jackie Lewis, champion of Formula 2), while the German Colony evidently aligns herself with a Lotus, shared by the rookies Wolfgang Seidel and Michael May. The american Camoradi was a mixture (a Cooper to Masten Gregory and a Lotus for Ian Burgess), and the noble Dutch Carel Godin de Beaufort, who had competed in previous years in Zandvoort, I would use a Porsche during the season with his own team, Ecurie Maarsbergen).

The epic of Moss (part I)


From this year, the winner would receive 9 points, one more until then, although in the Constructors ‘ World the victories would continue counting 8 points this year. This distribution of points (9-6-4-3-2-1) would remain unchanged for 3 decades. The calendar disappeared, the evidence of Argentina and Portugal, and with the Great Prize of Morocco canceled for the third and last time, only 8 tests would make up the season. Therefore, you only would count the five best results of each pilot. In addition, the Indianapolis 500-mile race came out by end of the calendar at the end of his contract of 11 years. Ironically, that same year Cooper competed in that race and finished in ninth place with Brabham, starting the “british invasion” that led to Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme and Jochen Rindt among others, to participate in the Indy 500 this decade.

The season began in may in Monaco. In classification, it was established that two cars of each team of the factory (in addition to Moss and Trintignant, winners of the GP), they would have put insurance on the grill. This left four free positions for nine cars in a small grill 16, despite the opening of a plaza, after the serious accident in training in Ireland, which came through the air after crashing in the tunnel and broke a leg; in later years, the british would refer to 1961 as the year “in which I came out of the fucking tunnel without the fucking car”. Moss beat Ginther and Clark by two-tenths to achieve that would be the last pole of his career. In the output, Moss, who had removed the side panels of his Lotus from 1960 to combat the overheating. fell to the third position, but in the second lap, Clark stopped by a failure in a valve.

In the round 14, Moss and Bonnier passed almost in unison to Ginther. After that, Ferrari ordered him to slow down for that Phil Hill would go, leading to the persecution from the turn 25. A lap later, the american overtook Bonnier, who dropped out later, and went on to Moss, who was 10 seconds. The Ferrari engine was long the most powerful, with 192 HP, compared to the 165 of the Porsche and 152 of the Climax, and Phil Hill used it to reduce the deficit to three seconds, but Moss, doing gala of a riding sublime, kept the margin. 25 of the final, the Ferrari returned to change position in pursuit of the win, but Ginther was unsuccessful. Moss took advantage of the better handling of his Lotus and pulled the maximum out of a car with a year old, and 40 HP less with a legendary performance. After Ginther and Phil Hill, von Trips was fourth despite crashing on the last lap, and Gurney finished fifth on McLaren. The champion Brabham, meanwhile, went unnoticed: he arrived very tired and late after qualify in Indianapolis, was the slowest in qualifying and dropped out mid-race when I was ten.


Von Trips presents their credentials in the Netherlands

The following week, traveled to Zandvoort, a circuit where Ferrari might exhibit your higher power. Caught the first three positions in qualifying with Phil Hill, von Trips and Ginther, and was the German who dominated the test from the start, getting his first victory. Behind the scenes, however, the fight was intense. From the tenth position on the grid, Clark was fourth in the first lap, broke a Graham Hill who was falling backwards after finishing second in the first round, and went on to overtake Phil Hill on lap 22, starting a battle without quarter. The Ferrari was imposed in the areas fast, but the bravery of Clark and the best handling of your Lotus in the curves made they went ahead again and again for 40 turns, until Clark lost bellows by a problem in the direction that made him settle for the podium. Ginther and Moss also had a similar battle, just like in Monaco, even if it lasted for the whole race. The american was over in the last curve by a failure of the throttle, and Moss took fourth place in the line by a tenth. After them, Brabham, in another unobtrusive race Cooper (McLaren 12). What is remarkable, without a doubt, is that the 15 cars that started the test managed to finish it, something that would not happen until 2005, and more meritorious, even if one takes into account that there was no pit stops.

The very quick circuit Spa-Francorchamps was even more perfect for Ferrari, who have had their domain since the classification with their four cars (Olivier Gendebien was third in a Ferrari color mustard). Only Surtees prevented the full, to almost seven seconds by Phil Hill and a tenth on Ginther. Graham Hill led after another out brilliant, but the Ferrari drove like thunder. 4 shared the lead for several laps until Phil Hill and von Trips managed to escape. The u.s. was the leader for the last time six laps from the end and won with seven tenths of advantage, completing Ginther the podium. Surtees spent half the race fighting with Graham Hill and was fifth ahead of the Gurney, while the illustrious regulars continued to suffer: Moss could only manage eighth, and the Cooper did not come to the middle of the race. The event was affected by the serious accident in classification of Cliff Allison, who only a year after a brutal impact in Monaco, he broke his legs (was competing with another pilot to drive that car in the race) and decided to retire.

Phil Hill came in to another high-speed circuit such as Reims with a one-point lead over von Trips, who beat in qualifying by a second and a half in another triplet Ferrari, but none of them would take the glory to the Scuderia on Sunday. Thanks to a program of the Italian Federation, with which he played and won two races in Formula 2 with a Ferrari, Giancarlo Baghetti had the opportunity to drive the Ferrari 156 in the race. In a calurosísimo day, skirting the 40th, the Italian was progressing between the battles of rebufos to get fourth on lap 16. From here, the events are happened: just three laps after the engine of von Trips, who had been leader on lap 13, it was melted. At 38, 14 at the end, Phil Hill lost two laps at the calar the car after a spin, and a problem in the oil finiquitó to Ginther three laps later. The rookie led.

The Porsche, however, did not want to miss the opportunity, after the mark to think seriously to leave the championship for the disappointing start and the delay in the development of your new engine, and during the following lap, Baghetti exchanged overtaking with Gurney and Bonnier, but the swede came out two laps from the end with engine problems. Gurney came out on top of the last curve, but Baghetti we picked up the slipstream and beat him by one tenth, becoming the first and only driver to win his first Formula 1 Grand Prix. His success would be as sudden as brief, as it would not go up to podium one. Bonnier managed to finish, but Clark was left with his podium, and Ireland, McLaren and Graham Hill, with the points. Meanwhile, Moss (4th on the grid for rebufos) and Brabham (14) continued its annus horribilis to not finish the race.


The test of the United Kingdom returned to compete in the hippodrome of Aintree. The times in qualifying were taken with jumps of 2 tenths and, therefore, four pilots marked the same time of 1:58.8: Phil Hill, who would come out again in the pole, Ginther, Bonnier and von Trips. Under a torrential rain, the German chased and chased to the u.s. in seven laps, but behind came Moss. The british, comfortable at home and with an element of the equalizer, managed to pass the Ferrari and attack von Trips, until the aquaplaning has denied any choice, and put in a tray, the second triumph of the German pilot.When the rain stopped, Ginther and Phil Hill sent to Moss, who later left when you break a valve, and exchanged posts shortly after by team orders.

Ferrari completed yet another hat-trick proclaimed champion of Constructors to the Scuderia with three races remaining. Everything was going in the face for the good of Enzo, that two weeks later would be acquitted in the case of the death of Alfonso de Portago in 1957. Brabham was finally able to have a good race, and finished fourth on Bonnier and Roy Salvadori, who raced here a second Cooper, Yeoman Credit from Reims. In the anecdotes of the race, it was the anonymous presence of Baghetti, who left with his small team, and an experiment by Rob Walker: the Ferguson P99, the first Formula 1 with traction to the four wheels, which ended up being disqualified soon after Moss was replaced behind the wheel to Jack Fairman, by external assistance.

The epic of Moss (part II)

Though still with a small deficit of 20 HP, the Climax managed to have one of its new V8 ready to Jack Brabham in the Grand Prix of Germany, that became the fearsome Nürburgring three years after. Earned the new zealander to rank second, with von Trips 5th and Ginther 14th, the dominance of Ferrari was not so patent, but could not with the back majestic of Phil Hill, who broke the record for the circuit and left to Brabham to 6 seconds. On this occasion, it would be the time that would play against the champion. After a rain prior to the race, Brabham took a risk with a mix of tyres on dry and wet which allowed him to take the lead, but that took just two minutes to get him out of the race when passing a puddle. With wheels wet, Moss inherited the lead, but Phil Hill and von Trips, with tires of dry, took to it. Hill was briefly ahead of Moss, but it did not last: in 4 laps, the british took 11 seconds.

Von Trips took the handoff and recovered the field, and when it seemed that we would catch… the Green Hell made of his own, and the rain returned. Moss ended up imposing with 20 seconds of advantage in other action formidable that he was able to continue with hopes of being champion. In fight direct, von Trips held behind Phil Hill to increase their lead to four points with two events remaining, while Clark, Surtees and McLaren completed the points, and the Porsche remained composed and without adding in-house. Worse was to Innes Ireland, who had a fright brutal when his car caught fire suddenly to 160 km/h. Half engulfed in flames, he was able to stop and get out of the car, resulting unscathed. The fortune, unfortunately, not lasted much longer in the Formula 1.


A catastrophic reaction

This time the british team were not opposed to the curves banked ones of Monza, which both favoured Ferrari in spite of everything. As expected, caught the first four positions in qualifying, getting von Trips, the first pole of his career. A tenth was surprising Ricardo Rodriguez, a very young promise of mexican of only 19 years who had caused the sensation in the resistance along with his brother Peter, and the Enzo Ferrari decided to take a chance on his fourth car. Meanwhile, Moss, discontent with your car (had not been able to mount the V8 Climax due to problems of overheating), agreed to change mount with Ireland after rank eleventh.

At the request of Ferrari, for the first time, they used rows of two to avoid rebufos mass at the beginning, and Phil Hill, who qualified fourth, took the lead escorted by Ginther and Rodriguez while von Trips, who sacrificed the start by a few gears longer, was fifth between Clark and Brabham. Coming to the Dish, the German had already gone to Clark and was looking to do the same with Rodriguez. A movement of the mexican disoriented the pilot of Ferrari, which moved to the left while he still had his rear wheels in parallel with the front of Clark, and it collided with the scottish. The car of von Trips went to the side of the track, climbed down an embankment and went into a spin side, crashing into a fence packed with spectators. Wolfgang, or as he liked to call him, “Taffy”, was thrown and ended up on the side of the track, upside down. Died on the spot, along with 15 other spectators. As was customary, the organizers did not stop the trial, which continued normally while attending to all the injured and pulling out of the area to the dead, among them who was the leader of the World.

Ginther, Phil Hill and Rodriguez took turns in the lead for 13 laps, with Baghetti something behind. When the mexican and the Italian suffered mechanical problems on the same lap, was ordered to Phil Hill and Ginther to end the fight, though did not lack, because the second broke down engine shortly after. Behind, without a Brabham who left soon, Gurney and Moss were faced almost throughout the race for second place until Moss broke a wheel nut, allowing a doublet american and the only podium for the McLaren that year, on the surprising Cooper private Jackie Lewis, Brooks and Salvadori. This abandonment, in addition, was the final nail for the championship: with their victory, Phil Hill was proclaimed champion of the worst possible way. There was No celebration of any kind and, with both titles in the pocket, Ferrari terminated the season.

For this reason, Phil Hill was unable to show off his status of champion in front of his fans in the final test of the united States, as well as be commissioner emeritus, and with a back homage in the back of a car. After 2 failed attempts, the third was the charm, and Formula 1-found home in America to the east of the country, near New York city, in the small (3.7 miles) circuit of Watkins Glen, just 3.7 km away, which many private computers are not displaced given the costs of the trip and what little I had in game. The V8 gave wings to the Cooper, Brabham, who won the pole position with over a second lead over Graham Hill and Moss. After another out in rows of 2, Moss took the lead on Brabham, and both fought a good battle for 40 laps that none won: the new zealander suffered overheating problems and the british bore the engine. The unexpected protagonist would be Ireland, who had spent a year horrible, and that he was close to finishing in the forest on turn 3, but recovered quickly and, showing much more pace than McLaren, I ended up passing on lap 34.

from there, it was with caution to avoid breakage, and began to catch him, but the luck smiled at him even more: Graham Hill had battery problems that forced him to a pit stop (he ended up fifth ahead of Bonnier), and Salvadori, who seemed to be in a position to pass it, broke down engine 3 laps from the end. Thus, Innes Ireland scored a surprise victory in which would be, coincidentally, his last podium in Formula 1. Gurney finished second, equalling the points to Moss and helping Porsche to retain the third place in the constructors with respect to Cooper. McLaren, no rhythm whatsoever, he was losing positions and Tony Brooks took the podium near the end in his last race. Excellent pilot of an engine in the front, Brooks decided to retire before the age of 30, unmotivated by the course of the Formula 1 of the period.

Ferrari turned to savor the laurels of the triunfor thanks to a great job and, why not say, to the excess of confidence of the English clubs, in particular of a Cooper, which was the shadow of what he showed two years anteiores. But neither the Scuderia or Phil Hill were able to enjoy that glory. The fateful death of von Trips, who seemed to be thrown by the title, eclipsed all, and again, the successes of Ferrari had a tone mournful. Beyond that, the Perfidious Albión prepared to counterattack in 1962, they would arrive precisely where they are least expected…

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1 Phil Hill Ferrari 34
2nd Wolfgang von Trips Ferrari 33
3rd Stirling Moss Lotus 21
4th Dan Gurney Porsche 21
5th Richie Ginther Ferrari 16
6th Innes Ireland Lotus 12
7th Jim Clark Lotus 11
8th Bruce McLaren Cooper 11
9th Giancarlo Baghetti Ferrari 9
10th Tony Brooks BRM 6
11th Jack Brabham Cooper 4
12 John Surtees Cooper 4
13th Olivier Gendebien Ferrari / Lotus 3
14th Jackie Lewis Cooper 3
15th Jo Bonnier Porsche 3
16th Graham Hill BRM 3
17th Roy Salvadori Cooper 2

Without points (with, at least, three grand prix competitions): Maurice Trintignant (Cooper), Carel Godin de Beaufort (Porsche), Lorenzo Bandini (Cooper), Hans Herrmann (Porsche), Masten Gregory (Cooper / Lotus), Henry Taylor (Lotus), Ian Burgess (Lotus / Cooper), Gerry Ashmore (Lotus), Wolfgang Siedel (Lotus), Lucien Bianchi (Lotus) and Willy Mairesse (Lotus / Ferrari).


1 Ferrari 40
2nd Lotus-Climax 32
3rd Porsche 22
4th Cooper-Climax 14
5th BRM-Climax 7
Cooper-Maserati 0